On October 1, Care at Hand and Wellpepper were selected as winners of the first-ever Mayo Clinic Think Big Challenge, which was sponsored by Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation (CFI), Mayo Clinic Ventures and AVIA Health Innovation.
Winners will receive a $50,000 award and one year of consultation to help develop their innovative concepts for market. The winners were chosen by attendees at Transform 2015, an annual gathering of industry leaders exploring the future of health and health care, which is hosted by the CFI.
More than 130 applicants across the nation submitted ideas for the inaugural competition, and six finalist companies were selected for the final round of judging. Care at Hand of San Francisco and Rockville, Maryland, won the Got Health Award, which focuses on ideas to enable healthy people to stay healthy. Led by a team spanning medicine to engineering and founded by Dr. Andrey Ostrovsky MD, Care at Hand is recognized for its work on an evidence-based smart survey and analytics platform that predicts and prevents hospitalizations using non-medical workers.
Forbes underscored Care at Hand’s leadership and investment in digital health technologies, saying Care at Hand is “blazing trails in telehealth and poised to become [a] household name.”
Wellpepper of Seattle won the I Am Not My Disease Award, which focuses on helping people with chronic illnesses live better lives. Wellpepper is a health care technology company that provides a clinically validated platform for digital treatment plans delivered via mobile devices. The Wellpepper patient engagement solution improves patient adherence and outcomes with its patent-pending adaptive notification system and just-in-time, task-based instructions, and by fostering communication between health care providers and patients.
Wellpepper is used by major health systems that are moving to an accountable care organization model and need to track and improve patient outcomes, while lowering costs. Wellpepper was founded by Anne Weiler and Mike Van Snellenberg in 2012 to help health care organizations lower costs, improve outcomes and improve patient satisfaction.
Hosts of the conference said winners of the Think Big Challenge represent the entrepreneurial spirit needed to transform America’s health and health care system.
“The theme of Transform 2015 was People Power Health, embracing the shift from the traditional medical model to people determining their own health and health care,” explains Barbara Spurrier, administrative director of Mayo Clinic CFI. Mayo Clinic Ventures Chair James Rogers III says he looks forward to working with the winning companies as they move their ideas to the next level. “These two companies have the potential to be standouts in their fields, hopefully bringing ideas to market that are changing the way people experience health and health care.” Eric Langshur, co-founder and CEO of AVIA Health Innovation, health care's only provider-led accelerator, adds, “The Think Big Challenge brings a fresh approach to innovation competitions, and AVIA is proud to partner with Mayo Clinic to support entrepreneurs who are bringing their game to transform health care.”
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